The Toyota Hilux has a proud history of achievement, conquering the world’s toughest environments from polar icecaps to desert wastes and live volcanoes. The future is just as impressive, as the pick-up range prepares to introduce a new, more powerful engine, significant technical updates and a chiselled, contemporary new look that’s a perfect expression of its rugged qualities.
Today’s Hilux is about much more than being an ultra-reliable all-wheel drive workhorse that can deal with demanding off-road conditions. Without compromising its go-anywhere character, it is equally suited to dual business and leisure use, with composed on-road ride and handling and impressive safety, comfort and connectivity specifications.
Exterior and interior design
Hilux’s frontal design has a completely new look, with a more powerful, three-dimensional treatment of the grille and bumper, increasing the vehicle’s road presence and reinforcing its robust, all-terrain credentials. The effect is even greater on the top-of-the-range Invincible X, which comes with additional body styling and protection elements (further details below).
The upgraded cabin features a new-design instrument combimeter and, on Icon and higher grade models, an eight-inch multimedia screen mounted on the centre console.
New 2.8-litre engine
The new 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine gives Hilux an impressive boost in power, torque and performance. The unit produces a maximum 201bhp/150kW– an increase of 53bhp/40kW on the 2.4-litre unit – and lifts maximum torque by 100Nm to 500Nm. The extra muscle cuts the 0-62mph acceleration time by 2.7 seconds to 10 seconds (Double Cab with automatic transmission). It can be specified with six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
As well as being more powerful, the new engine is engineered for efficiency too, fitted with a stop-start system. WLTP fuel economy and CO2 emissions data will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.
Finding the right balance between ride comfort and rugged off-road ability is one of the big challenges in engineering a vehicle that serves both as workhorse and leisure/day-to-day transport. Toyota constantly seeks to improve performance and has introduced changes to the suspension to achieve smoother on-road cruising and less shock when travelling over uneven surfaces.
The rear leaf springs have been updated, new bushes have been introduced and the shock absorbers have been retuned to gain better ride and handling.
New automatic limited-slip differential
The new Hilux’s handling systems have been extended with the addition of an automatic limited-slip differential (on Icon grade models and above), which helps vehicle control when accelerating on low-grip surfaces. Operating when the Hilux is in H2 (high-ratio, two-wheel drive) mode, it automatically sends drive torque to the rear wheel with traction, while applying brake control to the opposite wheel. A single press of the VSC Off button brings the system into play.
Hilux is also equipped with active traction control (A-TRC), which maximises traction when driving on L4 (low-ratio, all-wheel drive) mode. Together, the A-TRC and automatic limited-slip differential electronic systems work more efficiently than mechanical alternatives. Further vehicle control support is provided by Hill-start Assist Control and, on Icon grade and above, Downhill Assist Control.
Off-road and load-carrying capabilities
New Hilux is designed to tackle the toughest off-road conditions, with a 29-degree approach angle, 26-degree departure angle and 293mm ground clearance (Double Cab models). It’s also capable of wading to a depth of 700mm.
Payloads of up to one tonne can be carried and Hilux can tow (braked) loads of up to 3.5 tonnes.
Multimedia connectivity and JBL premium audio
New Hilux (Icon grade and above) comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen multimedia system, which benefits from faster display response to touch-commands and faster software operation. Seamless smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and DAB reception is also provided. All models feature Bluetooth and a USB port, while satellite navigation is part of the standard package for the Invincible X model.
The Invincible X also features a powerful new nine-speaker JBL premium sound system with a speaker array that includes a 224mm subwoofer for great bass performance, 150mm full range and 80mm wide dispersion units for a stage effect, 170mm mid-woofers and 25mm tweets. With an 800W eight-channel amplifier, the system uses Harman CLARiFi technology to gain the best sound quality from compressed audio files.
The changes for new Hilux include improved equipment specifications. The key addition for the entry-level Active model is the standard provision of Toyota Safety Sense, helping reduce common accident risks with a Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist.
Additions include the latest Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with eight-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and the automatic limited-slip differential. These are in addition to established features including 17-inch alloy wheels, side steps, rear privacy glass, reversing camera, power-folding door mirrors and LED front fog lights.
The Hilux Invincible gains new-design 18-inch alloys, LED tail lights, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats and a de-icing control for the windscreen wipers. Other specification highlights include LED headlights, smart entry and start and automatic air conditioning.